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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Celebrating the impact stories of our global CISL Network

30 November 2022 - CISL Fellow Zoë Arden introduces impact stories from our global CISL Network, celebrating individuals who are driving change in their industries and communities.

This autumn we set out to celebrate our community for action by uncovering individual stories of impact and were amazed by what we discovered. These stories showcase both the global nature and diversity of our network, platforms, and programmes. The pilot project features individuals from over 14 countries in a range of industries from finance, food, farming and fashion to chemicals, consultancy and the built environment. It spans innovative start-ups to incumbents.

What all the stories have in common are individuals who have developed the courage and commitment to lead change in their context. We were particularly proud that they all chose to credit CISL with helping them grow their confidence, capability, and connections.

We asked individuals to share their lessons, values, allies and moments when they have been pushed out of their comfort zone. Many spoke about leadership for change needing to be systemic, inclusive and collaborative; that it starts with a clear purpose and involves a range of diverse stakeholders. It requires creativity, courage, business savvy, and sense-making. They told us that to accelerate change, they needed to become leaders that listen deeply, stand up with courage, connect across divides, and create new stories of a thriving future. These themes were echoed by individuals working in both complex global businesses as well as start-ups.

Our hope is that these stories help celebrate the positive contribution of CISL alumni all over the world and encourage others to step forward, expand their leadership, and increase their sustainability impact. The individuals connect to all parts of CISL’s work including our Accelerator Programme, Education (Grad Programmes and Customised), Online Courses, Platforms, and key geographical hubs.

The CISL alumni network is nearly 30,000 individuals worldwide and growing exponentially. Individuals featured in our first impact stories for change hailed from Australia, China, Ireland, Israel, India, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, UAE, Uganda, UK and the US.

CISL is committed to continuing to expand its global footprint, relevance, and diversity. We encourage you to share your impact stories with us so we can celebrate and learn from the action focused work of our global network.

Read CISL’s Annual Review 2021-2022 and hear our global network share their stories of positive impact.

About the author

Zoë Arden is an independent leadership advisor, CISL fellow and co-convenor of three online leadership courses: Women Leading Change: Shaping our FutureLeading Sustainability: High Impact Leadership and Communicating for Influence & Impact 


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.


Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

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